Oftentimes people asks us what should they do if they suspect one of their love ones is being neglected or abused in a nursing home setting. My response is always the same, take action. Document properly what you perceived it to be happening, whether it be conditions of the nursing home, conditions of the room, of the resident, bruising, soiled clothing.
Don’t lose an opportunity to document what you think is going to happen or has been happening because you don’t want to lose the opportunity of that evidence to get washed away. The other thing you should do immediately is advise the nursing home of your concern, do so in writing. I can’t tell you how often people say “I’ve mentioned it to them five times” and there is no record of it once the records are reviewed from our office. The New York State department of health will conduct an investigation and provide you with the results of that investigation.
If the nursing home knows that you are on top of things, that you’ve documented what you have already witnessed, you putting them on notice and writing them enough, will oftentimes have them attempt to remedy the situation because they understand that they are now being looked at closely by the family. Make sure that you preserved any of this evidence including copies of any letters or notices that you’ve put together for our office so we have a good start to our investigation as well.